Empowerment

Featured Articles

Mario Lopez on Latino Health and Children

Mario Lopez shares his passion and Latino heritage behind the creation of his books. Cooking lean can be both delicious and not cost a lot of money!  Watch the video and learn how to make "Veggie and Black Bean Quesadillas" that even your kids will enjoy eating.

Click on the images to learn more about Mario's cooking and children books that he speaks about in the video.

Discipline

Many Latinas can remember la chancla. If it wasn't that, it was un gancho or un sopetazo. Either way, a lot of us grew up with the fear of being disciplined with force. But the time of la chancla has come to an end. With reports of spanking becoming reported as child abuse, and children threatening to report their parents to ICE, it is evident that a new technique for childrearing needs to be applied.

From websites to YouTube videos and books, there are unlimited resources to help find the right way for you to rear your children. A company, Love and Logic is becoming widely popular. They believe in "an approach to raising kids that provides loving support from parents while at the same time expecting kids to be respectful and responsible". They believe in "locking in" the empathy, love and understanding before telling a child what the consequences of their actions will be. This way, parents will not seem like the "bad guy" when holding their children accountable for their bad behaviors.

What does this mean for a parent? It means that at a very young age, you being using what is being called a democratic method. The democratic method of parenting refers to how parents treat their children as equals. It does not mean children get to do whatever they want or do what adults do, but rather that all the family members are respected equally and treated the same. Everyone has a voice and they work together. The parents act like directors or managers, setting the rules of the home. But the rules are discussed with the children and explained why they are in place and the benefits the family has to the rules.

This method stresses choices. Children are encouraged to make daily choices and each choice has a consequence which a child has to live with whether it was a good choice or a bad choice. And punishments occur when bad choices are made, such as breaking a rule. It is important that the child understands why that rule was in place, the importance of following the rule, and then punishing the child for breaking the rule. It helps teach children why certain behaviors are unacceptable and should be avoided. It helps with early deductive reasoning skills, and make choices based on reasoning instead of fear. This is positive reinforcement is an important part of this parenting style. Letting them know you appreciate their thoughtfulness and their adherence to the rules is important leads them to relate positive consequences to making the right choice.

There are many Latinas using this type of parenting style, and they all agree that there are many struggles that come with it. It takes a great deal of commitment on their part to communicate constantly with their child. The consistency is important, as is being united with your partner and it is alright when steps are missed, or the threat of la chancla comes out. But as long you're communicating with your child, there is no reason to actually use it. 

Latina Lowriders

 

Maira Hinojosa with Latino USA meets up with Latinas that own low riders and has the ride of her life

 

How Latina Leaders Are Different

Althought Latinas in high leadershp positions are only 2%, Latinas are leading the growth of small businesses.  This interview by WBEZ Morning Shift in Chicago we listen to Beacon News reporter, Kalyn Belsha, looks at the rise of Latinas obtaining a Bachelor’s or Master’s in just a decade. Belsha and Maria Pesqueira, president and CEO of Mujeres Latinas en Accion, explain what has been the catalyst for this and how Latina leaders are different.

 

 

Bullying

Has bullying been always around?

Bullying has been a critical issue in schools for decades. Looking back to the 18th century peer-on-peer harassment was just as commonly seen as it is today. Of course, during that time bullying was newly recognized and little understood. What may be seen as violent behavior today might not have been in that time or could have been seen as a normal part of growing up among children.

The term bullying has changed drastically over time. In the 18th and 19th centuries bullying was mainly viewed as physical or verbal harassment commonly linked with: death, strong isolation or extortion in school children. Any type of aggressive behavior was simply seen as mischief and a normal part of childhood.

The term bullying was not publicly recognized until 1862, when a well-known newspaper made a publication of this behavior. And as bullying became more prevalent, it began to draw more attention from researchers who wanted to know more about this new phenomenon. Historically, the most significant turning point for bullying took place in the mid-1970s, when Dan Olweus, a research professor of psychology, was the first to conduct an intensive study on bullying among students using his own systematic researching methods.

Cyberbullying

But bullying took another negative turn. With easy access to the internet, many teens have started using cyber space as a playground for bullying. Presently, cyber bullying is on the rise due to social networks such as Facebook and twitter where information can travel in seconds to a countless number of people, bullying is no longer confined to just school property or hours. These days, it can happen anywhere and at any time, including at home after school, when kids are texting more or using Facebook and Twitter.

Tips for Parents

Starting at Home

  • Teach self-control through discipline.
  • Don't tolerate mistreatment of others and consistently applying negative consequences.
  • Reward your child for improvement in behavior. It doesn’t always have to be a material reward, because that instills a materialistic culture in them.
  • Teach your child to treat others the way they want to be treated.
  • Teach your child that mistreatment and kindness are powerful – creating memories.
  • Hold family meetings to teach empathy, sensitivity and values.
  • Teach child to control his/her anger.
  • Discuss models of acceptance (newspaper stories, television stories, movies, etc.).
  • Discuss bullying scenes you watch on television or in movies.
  • Teach your child to say, “I’m sorry.” “Please forgive me.” and then to be kind to the person.
  • But most of all. TEACH WITH YOUR EXAMPLE.

How to identify it

Signs to tell when your kid is being bullied

  1. Unexplained physical marks, cuts, bruises and scrapes.
  2. Unexplained loss of toys, school supplies, clothing, lunches, or money.
  3. Clothes, toys, books, electronic items are damaged or missing or child reports mysteriously “losing” possessions.
  4. Doesn’t want to go to school or other activities with peers.
  5. Afraid of riding the school bus.
  6. Afraid to be left alone: wants you there at dismissal, suddenly clingy.
  7. Suddenly sullen, withdrawn, evasive; remarks about feeling lonely.
  8. Marked change in typical behavior or personality.
  9. Appears sad, moody, angry, anxious or depressed and that mood lasts with no known cause.
  10. Physical complaints; headaches, stomachaches, frequent visits the school nurse’s office.
  11. Difficulty sleeping, nightmares, cries self to sleep, bed wetting.
  12. Change in eating habits.
  13. Begins bullying siblings or younger kids (Bullied children can sometimes flip their role and become the bully).
  14. Waits to get home to use the bathroom (School and park bathrooms, because they are often not adult-supervised, can be hot spots for bullying).
  15. Suddenly has fewer friends or doesn’t want to be with the “regular group”.
  16. Ravenous when he comes home (Bullies can use extortion stealing a victim’s lunch money or lunch).
  17. Sudden and significant drop in grades (Bullying can cause a child to have difficulty focusing and concentrating).
  18. Blames self for problems; feels “not good enough”.
  19. Talks about feeling helpless or about suicide; runs away.

 

Tips for children

 

If You Are Bullied

 

Stick with friends. There is safety in numbers. Avoid being alone in target areas like locker rooms, restrooms, and places where the bully hangs out.

Be assertive and brave. Stand up for yourself. Use body language to show you are not afraid. Stand up straight and make eye contact.

Ignore the bully. Walk away. Don’t respond. Get out of the situation.

Agree with the bully’s comments. Say “Whatever” or “You’re right.” Then walk away.

Don’t seek revenge. Remember that using violence to solve problems only makes things worse.

Get help. If you are being bullied, don’t keep it a secret. Ask friends or adults for help. Report all bullying incidents.

If Someone Else Is Bullied

 

Don’t be a bystander. When no one speaks up, bullies learn they can get away with it.

Refuse to join in. Don’t take part in the bullying. Refuse to even watch.

Speak out. Distract the bully by changing the subject or using humor. Talk to the bully later, in private.

Stand up for the victim. Tell the bully to stop. Get a group to do this with you.

Give support. Talk to the person being bullied in private. Be a friend to that person. Make an effort to include others who are normally left out or rejected.

Get an adult. Report any bullying you see to teachers or other adults. They can set clear, nonviolent consequences for future bullying behavior.

To the spectator:

                “The most atrocious of all bad acts of people, is the silence of good people”

To the aggressor:

“Humanity can only break free from violence through nonviolence”

To thevictim:

                Don’t let the sun go down while you’re still angry”